I’m jumping the gun and posting this before the cake I had made and decorated for the “I need an excuse and it’s my blog anniversary”.
It’s more fitting that I post tonight’s dessert. One of the main reasons for this blog existing is because I was enjoying baking and wanted to share what I was making and trying, but what kicked the blog off was wanting to make Mum a really nice cake for her birthday. That was almost a year ago, well when I finally got the blog up and running, and made my first test cake. You can take a trip down memory lane here, my first blog post.
Oh, I’m not going to hold out any longer, here’s what I made.
One of the disappointing things about the Black Forest Cake I made for mum was the lack of cherry flavour. At the time I didn’t know about the Mediterranean Food Company who sometimes have Maraschino Cherries. Since visiting the shop, on occasion I’ve seen them available, but not every time. In the back of my mind I thought I’ll have to pay particular attention the closer we get to Mum’s birthday. Though I’m making something different for Mum this birthday. Stay tuned.
I happened to be over the right side of town with a client on Friday and decided to pop in and see if they had the cherries, and pop next door to, to Aitkens. I had been after food rings for some months now. I spotted some in Nelson but flagged getting them, they were so pricey! I’d seen them in Aitkens before somewhat cheaper. I nabbed 3 food rings and from the Mediterranean Food Company I grabbed the larger pottle of cherries and a few other things. There’s always a few other things that end up in my shopping basket.
I was pretty much set. I had in mind to use the left over Chocolate sponge from the Devils Dream Cake and stack the sponge with layers of cream and cherries. It was a pretty easy dessert to whip up given I had nothing more to prepare than chopping cherries and whipping up cream.
I added a tablespoon of cherry brandy to the unwhipped cream, and I stablised it as I had previously. A rounded 1/2 teaspoon of gelatine and a splash more than 1 tablespoon of cold water to the 400ml of cream I used. Then after a good 5 minutes I microwaved the gelatine in 5 second bursts until it had liquified.
After making up the desserts (I needed 4 rings!) I had a few bits of not quite round disks of sponge left over, and a little bit of cream. I put a teaspoon of cream on the sponge and Mr Fussy and I shared it. It was pretty tasty. Then I spotted another odd shaped piece of sponge. This time I brushed on a bit of the syrup (from the pottle of cherries) before dropping the very last spoonful of whipped cream onto it. It was so much better, and I thought the plain sponge tasted good. This is really odd because the first tiny smear of the syrup I tasted, tasted so much like almond to me. I’m not a fan of almond at all. I really don’t care for cherries either, but I don’t dislike them.
You might see that I had acetate lining the food rings. I cellotaped them (on the outside of the acetate that would not be in contact with the food) and then slid them back into the food ring. I used a cookie cutter to cut the circles from the 9″ sponge layers. Then it was no more trouble than to use a piping bag with a very large plain nozzle to squeeze the cream in where it was needed, then purposefully place chopped up cherries and repeat.
Sorry for the image size, I’ve yet to add my other software onto the Mac which would allow me to trim the bottom of the photo. I produced the photo as a custom size and this is what you get for it, a photo that doesn’t fit the frame.
As you can see I didn’t stop at just assembling the desserts. I went one step further and made a chocolate sauce that I’d pinned during the week. Another of David Lebovitz’s recipes. Salted Butter Chocolate Sauce. I think it’s kind of cute that using salted butter is a bit of an oddity in some countries. Using unsalted butter was something quite special for me, though I’ve got about 6 or so blocks of the stuff still vying for space in the fridge.
Here’s my slightly wonky dessert, mine was the one made using the almost circular sponge pieces, sans a food ring. But I wanted to show the inside, not that it really looks any different to the outside!
But don’t you just love those cherries hiding out in that whipped cream.
So there we are, almost 12 months to the date and I’ve used the same ingredients and learnt a lot of new tricks along the way. And acquired a truck load of new equipment in that time. I’ve run out of space and would dearly love a 2nd kitchen and pantry. Mr Fussy is still participating in Lotto and I’m expecting any significant win to grant me my wish 🙂
While its not yet Mum’s birthday, she was able to enjoy this dessert, and I dare say she would agree it was a vast improvement on the cake. I think for less effort this was a much nicer Black Forest Cake. Of course having the correct cherries makes a HUGE difference. I personally preferred this as a dessert. And I’ll take making chocolate sauce over making chocolate curls any day.